“Eternal God, in your providence you made all ages a preparation for the kingdom of your Son. Make ready our hearts for the brightness of your glory and the fulness of your blessing in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (UMC Book of Worship, 1992)
2 Peter 1:3-11
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Great Tradition
“This verse follows on what has gone before, because it is by the knowledge of our Lord and Savior that we come to understand all the mysteries of his divinity, by which we have been saved. For he did not send an angel or an archangel to save us, nor did he find anything in us which might allow us to contribute to our own salvation, but when he saw that we were weak and had nothing to boast of, he came in his own glory and power and redeemed us.” (Bede)
Prayer of Confession
“Lord, so often we have allowed our focus to be on the divisions and conflicts in the world and we have lost the vision of your kingdom to come. So often we have sacrificed and died for standards of our own making and we have turned away from your standard of the Cross. Forgive us, Lord, and restore our vision of your mighty kingdom. In Christ we pray. Amen.”
Through the precious gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, we have everything we need to live a godly life. Not only are we forgiven of our sin when we place our trust in Christ, but the very Spirit who raised him from the dead takes up residence within us. We are thus empowered and directed by God himself to live the life to which we have been called. Yet, as the Venerable Bede reminds us, we do not contribute anything to our salvation, for we are saved by grace through faith.
Still, the Apostle Peter tells us to add to our faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Such are only a few of the good works for which we were created (Ephesians 2:10). About these verses John Chrysostom wrote, “For if [the presence of these godly qualities] is a good thing, how much more their abundance!” Pursuing these good works, or “qualities,” as Peter puts it, does not save us. However, the Apostle points out that continuing to grow in them will protect us from being ineffective and unproductive for the Kingdom of God. Indeed, they are the fruit of being saved in the first place. Besides all that, our Lord’s version of 2 Peter 1:11 should be a great encouragement to all of us: “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). And who doesn’t want to hear that on the Day of the Lord?
- Give thanks to God that you have been redeemed and given everything you need to live a godly life.
- Which quality or good work listed in verse 5-7 do you need to focus on most? Spend some time in prayer asking God for the grace you need to mature in that area of the Christian life.